Hobnob gets their hands on Paul Lowe’s cookbook/craftsbook Sweet Paul Eat and Make and finds lots to admire. Especially a quick and easy recipe for bruschetta that looks like a party on a plate.
Raised in Oslo, Norway by his great-aunt Auntie Gunnvor and grandmother Mormor, Paul Lowe, otherwise known as Sweet Paul, wasn’t your average child. Obsessed with cooking, crafting, and decorating since he was a wee one, Paul’s bewitching sense of whimsy and fun has stayed with him through his successful career as a food and craft stylist and has certainly made his blog, magazine, and now book, irresistible to millions.
MORE THAN JUST A COOKBOOK
Part cookbook, part craftbook, Sweet Paul Eat & Make bursts with sheer joy and love of life. With handwritten typography and bright watercolors splashed across its pages, it’s hard not to be taken in by its simple yet stylish recipes and projects. You’ll very quickly find yourself imagining inviting your own friends over for easy entertaining recipes like Bruschetta with Peas Pancetta and Ricotta, Fish Tacos with Salsa and Red Cabbage, and Lemon Tarts with Almond Crust.
Paul has adopted his grandmother’s motto “perfection is boring,” which imbues his work with an easy, breezy simplicity while remaining impressive and chic. Sweet Paul, full of lovable charm and affection for all that surrounds him, makes you feel like you can conjure this domestic magic too—and with this book, now you can. Please enjoy this recipe from the book next time you have guests over. Especially in Spring, when you can get fresh peas.
BRUSCHETTA WITH PEAS, PANCETTA & RICOTTA
I love making bruschetta and often try out new topping combinations on my partner and guests. Other possibilities are prosciutto and figs; blue cheese and nuts; cream cheese and roasted vegetables; and, for dessert, Nutella with baked strawberries.
4 oz pancetta, cubed
1/2 CUP peas, fresh or frozen, thawed
1/2 CUP whole-milk ricotta
12 baguette slices, toasted
Fresh basil leaves (torn if large)
About 2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
 Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta until golden, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
 Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a small saucepan, cook the fresh peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then dunk them into the ice water. Drain on paper towels. (If using frozen peas, cook for 30 seconds, rinse under cold water, and drain on paper towels.)
 Spread a layer of ricotta on the baguette slices and top evenly with the pancetta, peas, and basil.
 Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and serve.
Photos © Alexandra Grablewski; Excerpted from SWEET PAUL EAT & MAKE, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Get the full spectrum of colorful recipes for our rainbow party in the 15 Rainbow of Food